Barns Courtney is a powerful spokesperson for perseverance. A year-and-a-half ago, he was working in a computer store; now, he receives emails from record labels and has even had his single, “Fire,” included in the soundtrack of the Bradley Cooper film, Burnt. “It’s both a blessing and a curse that for me, giving up was never really something I felt I could do,” Courtney explains. “I think everybody’s got that thing that’s just so hard-wired into them that they can’t stop, whatever happens.”
Standing at the doorstep of what looks to be a promising music career, Barns Courtney stopped in to The Current’s studio for a session hosted by Mary Lucia.
Courtney says he feels he’s always desired a career in music. “It was just something I wanted to pursue for as long as I can remember,” he says. “I never really thought about, like, ‘What if this was a career?’ It was just one of those things where, ‘This has to be what I do, because what else am I going to do?’ I’m a terrible computer salesman!”
Without enough money to record a solid demo, Courtney spent a day at a coffee shop stitching together two mediocre MP3 demos of “Fire,” the song that would become his door-opening single. “I spent, like, 10 hours just sat there by myself and eventually it sounded all right,” he recalls. “It eventually ended up in the hands of a booking agent, and it was when he got it that he started to send it to people in the record industry. And then it just exploded — it was email after email from labels and management.”
That stick-to-it-iveness is what has landed Courtney in record executives’ inboxes, put him on tour and got him invited to the London premiere of Burnt, where Courtney, his mother and grandmother sat among Hollywood luminaries. “It’s unfortunate not everybody realizes that if you just keep putting yourself out there on a regular basis, eventually something happens,” he says.
Listen to the complete interview to hear more from Courtney, including how his mother encouraged him to sing along with Backstreet Boys recordings, how Nirvana’s Nevermindstill surprises him, and how he and a friend plan to create memorable percussion on Courtney’s forthcoming album.
Listen the full interview and his performance Here.